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Old 10-15-2018, 11:00 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Kouts
Posts: 53
Cool Worth the headache ???

Well first let me say that this is not really meant to be a rant. But lately I've been wondering if this camper thing is really worth it. Just quickly, we bought a brand new TT in 15. Paid good money, did our research, and were generally happy with our purchase. We felt it was the right camper for us. There is no need to bash any particular brands here, because I feel that they are all in the same general category. Let's just say that we did not buy a bottom of the barrel variety.
So...that being said, the first two months we had a serious leak in a window. The dealer had the unit for repair for 6 weeks. Since then, we have had numerous leaks, a hot water heater replaced, a fridge problem, and a leak so bad, that we had to have our entire front cap replaced, at our cost. The last issue may have been my fault, due to possibly missing a small crack when re caulking. But through our travels, and friends and neighbors I now have come to the realization that our problems are not unique, or isolated to us, or our brand of camper. I could go on and on about the new $60,000 camper that our friend has that the slide will not work on, the 2nd time out. Or another that has multiple water leaks (in the plumbing) that a dealer says that they can not find. But I was standing in water the last time in their camper. How bout the new Cougar that the electric jack will not work after the first summer ?
Anyway, what keeps people buying these things. I used to think that there are just a few lemons out there. Now I think that there are just a few trouble free campers out there, and even less good, reputable dealers. Let me also say that I take meticulous care of our unit. Stored in doors, seals and seams checked twice yearly, winterized, polished and waxed spring and fall. And so on ! What are peoples thoughts ? Is this camping thing really worth it ? Not looking to sell yet, but maybe just looking for some folks to tell me what keeps them camping, even with all the issues that I know are out there. My philosophy on the whole thing is.....Every camper produced is simply a large, cheap box on wheels. No matter the brand, date of manufacture, color, or if it has shiny mag wheels or not.

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Old 10-15-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mskeyspirate View Post
Is this camping thing really worth it ?
It is for me.

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Old 10-15-2018, 11:23 AM   #3
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I like to think it is worth it also..
We are even thinking about going full time in a couple years.
I have had a lemon, but not with a Keystone product..Our dealer sold it to us not knowing it was going to be a lemon either.. But they made good on it and we think we did also..Our present dealer bought out a dealership from another state, that was going out of business. due mainly because the manufacturing plant was going bankrupt, and out of business. they just threw together everything they had left over to get rid of it.. Unfortunally for us and our dealer, we got one of those.. after 2 years they thing was falling apart, like I said, our dealer made good on it, and this is how we got a Keystone Cougar.. WE love it, and yes there has been a few things go wrong but, we are still at it.. Is it worth it to us.. Oh yea...

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Old 10-15-2018, 11:42 AM   #4
Laredo Tugger
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If your experience with anything is not enjoyable then you are inclined to not do repeats.
Yes the RV industry is financially driven and for that reason trailers get made and shoved out of the respective factories as fast as they can be built. In this process quality takes a dive and (like your's) some trailers are problem boxes from the start. For that I am sorry. Stories like your's make me (and others I'm sure) realize how lucky we are. And I do agree that if you are chasing one problem after another,your "experience" is not going to be that enjoyable.
Is it worth it? Depends on the overall satisfaction of ALL those involved.Wife,kids,heck even the dog. I guess you need to evaluate the big picture before you cash in your chips.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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We're on our 6th or 7th rv in the last 40 years, the last 10 have been fulltime, 3 of those have been since retirement & YES they are worth it, there's no possible way we could've seen/done all that we've done without a rv.
I don't know your situation or ability to do any of the maintenance, but I've said before if you are physically unable or not mechanically inclined enough to do any/all repairs/replacements then owning a rv is probably not a good choice. If you have take it to a dealer for every little issue then NO it's absolutely not worth it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:51 AM   #6
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My wife and I have tried almost every combination of camping, from tents to Class A. My personal preference has been the pop up camper we had. Furnace, hand operated water pump and a two burner stove and a porta potti. Everything was simple, rarely spent any time "fiddling" with things to get them to work when we got to our camp spot.

The more you desire/expect out of your "camping" experience the more headaches you'll have in the details!
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:14 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2018
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I fully understand your frustration. We've had a 1977 Mobile Traveler motorhome for about 15 years, and we've used it a lot, and always enjoyed it. It's had it's foibles, but we could chalk them up to "Dang, the thing is OLD!". I've had to make tons of repairs, from minor to major, but it's understandable, because it's OLD. Considering price paid, and cost of ownership since, it's been a great value.

In that old motorhome, we've never had the fridge fail, the water heater fail, or any other appliance fail. Good old "Made in the USA" stuff. And NO electronics. The only issue we ever had with appliances was the blower motor in the furnace, that would squeal and run the battery down quick due to it drawing far too much power. But it was like that when we bought it. Recently I found a new old stock electric motor for it, and now it works great too. Another major job was sealing the cabover. Another was rebuilding the valve in the old Thetford toilet. But our family had FUN in that old motorhome. When the kids were small, there were 7 of us, and two dogs, and we had fun. And fixing it myself didn't cost much. Nor did the motorhome have to go anywhere. We would still use it, working around problems, until repairs could be made.

Fast forward to today: We bought a brand new 2019 Keystone Passport in July, and it's been somewhat of a nightmare. The water heater has already failed. Needed the board replaced. The awning has pulled away from the wall. That's been fixed. Shelves in the back closet in the bathroom collapsed. Fixed. The manufacturer "forgot" to install the underbelly and heat ducts necessary..but they owned up and had it done. The dealership drove screws into the electrical wiring installing the underbelly, but that's on them. It was at the dealership a month to have that underbelly done...a full third of the time we've owned it. Then it went back to have the electrical repaired. But was only gone for a few days. We've had it back now a couple weeks and have used it once since.

The General Manager of the dealership where I bought the thing has repeatedly stated that today's RV's are better built than they used to be. Well, I'm not convinced. I've been up to my elbows in my old motorhome, and it's built pretty good. Do new ones have more "bells and whistles"? Absolutely. Pushing buttons to do things that I've had to do with matches or lighters is convenient. An electric awning is convenient. But I put the manual awning on our old motorhome myself, and it's NEVER pulled away from the wall, because I made sure it wouldn't. I've also never had a microwave oven in an RV before. Nor a tv mounted to the wall. Nor a built in stereo. All the bells and whistles are great, but I'm questioning their necessity.

So, anyhoo, here we are, several months in, and years of payments ahead of us, and do I think the new camper is worth it? Well. Looking at it from a strictly monetary aspect. Heck no. This thing is going to cost me many, many times more than what I've spent on our old motorhome (which we've decided to keep for now). And it's turning out to be just as trouble prone.

But when my wife and I are "out there" in the evening..under the stars..having cocktails and listening to soft music and hearing coyotes howling in the distance, and then can retreat to a comfortable space to sleep, and have a hot shower in the morn, and then go fishing, have lunch, relax, and repeat....Well, it's then that I forget all about the money and the hassle. And yes, that makes it worth it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:34 PM   #8
Laredo Tugger
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"The more you desire/expect out of your "camping" experience the more headaches you'll have in the details!"
Those are the wisest words I've seen today. Absolutely true,
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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I think a large part of the equation is mindset. If you (anyone) go buy an RV expecting that "that money" you spent, or committed to spend, bought you perfection and everything is going to be perfect; and if it isn't you're going to be upset every single time something malfunctions, you are going to be one unhappy camper. If it has to be repaired by a shop everytime...even more unhappy.

Realizing what you are buying is extremely important; a rolling box designed to give you all the comforts of home yet beaten to death every time you roll out on the road. Knowing and accepting that goes a long way in being able to swallow some of the problems.

Ours has had plenty of problems but all fixable, either by me or the dealership. Initially I was like many folks and got extremely irritated, both at the RV and the dealership until I accepted what I had and learned to deal with it. Now, it gives us little trouble but it still costs a lot of time and money just for upkeep.

Why do we keep it and like it? It gives us SO much more flexibility doing many things. It allows us to go and stay/see places for long periods that we would not otherwise be able to do. The more we go and do and see the more we love camping and the more we love THIS trailer....the one that gave us so many headaches. Heck, we even love to open the door and walk inside, it still smells new. Step inside, take a big whiff of that "new", "fun", "adventure" smell and then step outside and grab that ladder and polishing cloth and get at it; all invigorated by how much the camper means to both of you.
Danny & Susan wife of 51 years
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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"They say" (whoever "they are") that the happiest days in any RV owner's life are the day they get their new RV and the day they sell it to anyone who'll take the damn thing off their hands......

There is some truth to that statement, but not for everyone, between the first and last days of ownership.

We've been RVing since about 1970 and have had all kinds of RV's from popup trailers to Class A and C motorhomes. Seems we've almost always had one or two parked around the house during our entire married life (49 and counting)...

Do we "love RV'ing? We're currently in southeastern Tennessee, about 25 miles north of Florence, AL, enjoying the fifth wheel and the Slingshot. We're parked at a small, private campground and the only thing outside our RV is an old rustic barn, about 40 acres of pasture, 4 horses and a donkey. We "left the cold behind us" last week and while there's snow at home, we're riding the slingshot in short sleeve shirts and relaxing in the folding rockers under the awning while watching the horses graze in the field next to our camper.

We could never do that if we were traveling in the truck and staying at Motel 6.... We also wouldn't be having grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes and salad for supper after which we'll get a hot shower and sleep in our own bed....

So, for us, even though the "happiest days might be the first and last days of ownership of this "damn thing".... For us, all these "between days" are pretty good too......


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